A Look at The “Cromnibus” Bill From a Family Planning Perspective

December 11, 2014 • Daily Email Recap

Update from Brian Dixon, Population Connection

 

Dear Friend ,

 

As you may have heard, the House and Senate have finalized the 2015 appropriations package- ridiculously named the “Cromnibus”-for the fact that it’s an odd hybrid of a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security and an omnibus for everything else.

 

On family planning and reproductive health, it’s about as good a result as we could have dared hope for. It provides level funding of $610 million for international family planning which includes $35 million dedicated to the UNFPA. It maintains the status quo on policies as well, meaning that the Global Gag Rule remains off the books for another year. And the bill includes a new provision allowing Peace Corps volunteers who become pregnant as a result of rape or whose lives are threatened by a pregnancy to have safe abortion covered by the government. So it seems that our opponents have learned that picking fights on abortion for rape victims is not such a good idea for them.

 


 

On the domestic side, Republicans attempted once again to attach a provision to effectively gut the contraceptive insurance coverage guarantee included in the Affordable Care Act by allowing employers to opt out for pretty much any reason. Our champions in Congress were able to block that effort. Instead there’s relatively innocuous language in the committee report suggesting that bosses who feel that their “conscience” has been violated can file a report with the government.

 

The bill provides $286.5 million for the Title X domestic family planning program, and $101 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative-both the same as last year.

 

All in all, given the results of the mid-term election, this could have been much, much worse. And given that Democrats did still have the majority in the Senate during the work on this bill, it may get worse in the new year as that majority disappears.


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